- The Washington Times - Friday, March 8, 2013

The Pentagon is investigating allegations linking the U.S. military to human rights abuses in Iraq by interior ministry police units who operated a network of detention and torture centers during the U.S.-led occupation.

Earlier this week, the British Guardian newspaper and the BBC’s Arabic language news channel alleged that the United States sent a veteran of controversial U.S. counter-insurgency efforts in Central America during the 1980s to oversee Iraqi police units involved in some of the worst acts of sectarian violence and torture during Iraq’s bloody insurgency.

The two news organizations report U.S. and Iraqi witnesses implicating U.S. advisers for the first time in these human rights abuses.

Col. Jack Wesley, a Pentagon spokesman, told the Guardian, “Obviously we have seen the reports and we are currently looking into the situation.

“As you know the issue surrounding accusation of abuse and torture of Iraqi detainees is a complex one that is full of history and emotion. It will take time to work [out] a thorough response,” Col. Wesley said.

• Shaun Waterman can be reached at swaterman@washingtontimes.com.

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